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Children's services

Council outlines 12-month plan to meet the needs of pupils in Alternative Provision

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Walsall Council has outlined how the needs of Walsall pupils in Alternative Provision (AP) will be met over the next 12 months at a committee meeting last week.


Alternative Provision refers to educational settings that provide education for children who can’t attend mainstream schools due to exclusion, illness or other reasons.

The Education Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting took place on Thursday 15 February 2024, and discussed a report which described the council’s approach to AP, and its plans for a new 12-month strategy to support pupils within AP achieve their potential, whilst supporting their unique and often complex needs.

As part of the plan, a better understanding of the numbers and needs of Walsall pupils will be gained through a data-gathering exercise in partnership with schools.

This exercise will collect information on the number of students placed/attending AP that have been commissioned directly by mainstream schools.

Walsall Council has a statutory duty to provide a suitable education for young people who are excluded from school to meet their educational entitlement. There are currently 23 AP providers registered with the local authority, where individual places can be commissioned to meet student’s needs.

Members discussed the report which outlined ways the council will look to improve collaboration between Alternative Provision providers, and other partners and agencies who children and young people in the borough may require support from. This includes help from healthcare organisations and social services.

To ensure the quality of AP delivered, a robust system of monitoring and evaluation will also be used over the next 12 months, with regular progress reviews, feedback mechanisms, and data analysis to take place. 

“ Alternative Provision is really important to us as a local authority, to ensure our children and young people of compulsory school age have the right education, with the right support and help made available to them.

We have made good progress, however, there is room for continuous improvement, particularly with children who have special educational needs and disabilities, and working closely with schools who commission AP.

This 12-month plan will serve as a way for us to bring about these improvements and will see targeted efforts to support all pupils, ensuring they get the right support, in the right place and at the right time. “

Councillor Mark Statham, Portfolio Holder for Education and Skills
Walsall Council

You can read the report, or listen to the committee’s discussion on the Walsall Council committee management system:


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